This is the time of year our freezer gets a work out. Whether it’s freezing homemade popsicles, helping make our freezer jams or getting homemade ice cream just right to eat, the freezer doesn’t get any more work than when the weather starts to get warm.
When you go to most grocery stores you’ll find a huge variety of ice creams in all ranges of costs. However, unfortunately, most of these ice creams have a plethora of ingredients that don’t resemble ice cream but instead help to make it last longer, freeze slowly or keep the goodies inside (nuts or cookies for example) crunchy.
And as much as we love ice cream in this house, we really only eat a little bit because of the fact that it just seems so indulgent a treat.
Here is a recipe for a slightly lighter version of most ice creams that the adults (and children) in your life will love. It only requires a few simple and readily available ingredients which is why you must spring for the best – you won’t regret it. Also, when making this, don’t rush the process. Your ice cream will be all the better when you take the time to cool it properly in the caramel and custard stages and then when you ultimately put it in the ice cream maker. Of course, you will need an ice cream maker for this recipe but if you’ve been thinking about getting one, this might be the recipe that makes you decide to get it. I also made this without churning it in the ice cream maker and instead freezing it simply when it was cold and the flavour is still delicious. It is a bit more icy than regular ice cream and when just out of the freezer, quite difficult to scoop but letting it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften a bit should help.
Try this with a cooled shot of espresso for a Vienna-style iced coffee or keep a spoon in your back pocket for little bites whenever you please.
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups half and half cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon Fleur de Sel (more if you want a more salty flavour)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup 1% milk
3 large eggs
Make the caramel
Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry medium sized pot over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt. This was a little bit like chalk on the blackboard to me but I persevered because it was what the recipe called for. Once you are able to swirl it, do so to help all the sugar melt. This process can take up to 20 minutes depending on the heat of your stove. Watch the caramel carefully as it goes from amber to burnt fairly quickly.
Slowly and carefully add 1 1/4 cups of the half and half (10%) cream, stirring continuously until the caramel has dissolved. This will take some time as the caramel hardens with the addition of the cold cream. When completely melded together, transfer to a heat safe bowl and add the salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
Make the custard
In another medium sized pan, bring the milk and remaining cup cream and 1/4 cup sugar to a boil over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together and then add 1 or 2 ladles of the hot milk mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly to temper. Pour the entire egg mixture back into the pan of milk and cook over medium-low heat (watch the temperature) until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon – be careful not to let this custard come to a boil. Chill the custard, stirring occasionally in the fridge until cold, about 3 hours.
Make the ice cream
Put the mixture into a prepared ice cream maker bowl and stir on the lowest setting for 20-30 minutes or until like soft serve. Place in a container and freeze for up to a week enjoying all the while.
This blog was written by Adriana.
Adapted from this recipe.